See It Now



Coming Celestial Events at the Cosmic Campground

The sky is best viewed when the Moon is not in the sky.
This happens in the early evening approximately from 6 days before till 2 days After New Moon

Spring of 2017- Three Comets Will Be Visible on Same Night

Three Comets in One Night. 

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity

at the Cosmic Campground


There may be as many as a trillion comets in our solar system but only about 5,000 of them have been observed by humans. These small icy celestial travelers often appear suddenly. Historically people of many cultures have observed comets and have ascribed good luck or bad luck to them. Approximately once a year a comet becomes bright enough to see with the unaided eye. A comet's brightness is hard to predict in advance since it depends on the amount of gas and dust it releases as it is warmed by the Sun. This same situation makes it interesting to watch as it moves by our home planet.  
[Image Credit:NASA]

In the spring of 2017 there will be a unique opportunity to view three comets on the same night with a pair of binoculars and,or, perhaps, even with your naked eye. To do so you will need to be at a location with a natural night sky such as the Cosmic Campground. You will, also, need to avoid looking at a white light for at least 30 minutes and employ a flashlight with a red plastic wrap filter attached with a rubber band to view your star chart.

Comet C/2015 V2 Johnson was discovered by Jess Johnson of the Catalina Sky Survey located in Tucson, Arizona. It should be visible in binoculars starting in mid April and may reach naked eye brightness in early June. This comet is making its one and only trip past our Sun. Eons from now Comet C/2015 V2 Johnson may enter another solar system and treat any viewers who might be there to ghostly cometary appearance.

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak orbits the Sun every five and a half years, has a nucleus about a mile in diameter, and is known to have brightness flares. It should be visible in binoculars starting in mid April and could reach naked eye brightness in May. At the end of April it will pass near the Globular Cluster M92 creating an interesting photographic opportunity.  

Comet C/2015 ER61 PanSTARRS was discover by the PanSTARRS group with their telescope on top of Haleakala on the island of Maui. This comet orbits the Sun every 60,000 years or so. It should be bright enough to view with binoculars starting in the mid April morning sky and may reach naked eye brilliance in the next month or so.

Near the new moon April 26, 2017 it should be possible to see all three of these comets on the same night at the Cosmic Campground. Take this unique opportunity to view a once in a lifetime celestial pageant. Go to the cosmiccampground.org website for finding maps and further details.



New Moon May 25, 2017 

Milky Way Rising Over The Gila Wilderness Is Truly Awesome

Image Credit: David Thornburg

New Moon June 23, 2017

Milky Way Rising Over The Gila Wilderness Is Truly Awesome

Image Credit: David Thornburg







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